On Friday, July 20, San Jose Water partnered with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (GRPC) to unveil the final piece of the Shirley Lewis Rotary Sculpture Walk. The special event commemorated Shirley Lewis’ dedication to the park, public art, and the City of San Jose.
Shirley Lewis, who served as a San Jose City Councilmember, President of the San Jose Rotary Club, and President of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, was passionate about bringing visitors to the park. She wanted to expand the Children’s Sculpture Walk as a fun activity to encourage families to visit the park and enjoy time together outside.
To celebrate San Jose Water’s 150 year anniversary, we wanted to give back to the community by helping Shirley and the GRPC bring the Children’s Sculpture Walk to life. An art contest was held at Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School and Washington Elementary School to get local children involved in the project and help design the statues.
The winning artwork for the Children’s Statue Walk, by Geraldine López
Using the drawings created by the local elementary students, foundry artists from San Jose State University began creating the statues and bringing these designs to life. Some of the statues were based off of children of San Jose Water employees, the artists involved in creating the statues, and even Shirley Lewis’ great grandson.
The art contest winner, Geraldine (blue shirt on left), and some of the children who were models for the statues
Nearly 60 members of the community and those involved in the Statue Walk project attended the event. Attendees were treated to free ice cream and food truck snacks as well as live entertainment by the Gunderson High School Band and San Jose Taiko.
A San Jose Water booth was also set up at the event where employees gave away goodies like flower seed paper, small planting pots, children’s size construction hats, rain gauges, and tote bags. The booth also displayed a special poster showing the children’s drawings that inspired the statue designs.
We had a great time enjoying one of our best local parks with our community, and thank you to everyone who attended!
Check out some photos of the San Jose community celebrating this event:
Unveiling the final statues; Free ice cream for everyone - yum!
Gunderson High School Band
San Jose Taiko
SJ Water employees talking with community members and handing out SJ Water goodies